Retro games come back thanks to the NES Classic Edition, Classic SNES, PlayStation Classic, and even more mini retro consoles. We get complete information about places to pre-order and which retailers have stock, including Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, and Walmart. We have also compiled a complete list of games for each classic mini console, including the newly announced classic PS1 lineup.
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Every company takes a different approach to doing these things, with Nintendo and Sony choosing to make mini consoles at home. Conversely, other manufacturers have licensed the design of hardware and software equations to third parties, with varying degrees of success.
For fast nostalgia, playing retro games on a TV with an old gamepad, versus a PC emulator and keyboard, it’s hard to beat. This micro-console makes doing cheap things, and most importantly, fun. So which retro console is right for you? Read on for our list of our best retro mini consoles.
NES Classic Edition
Nintendo surprised the world when it announced the NES Classic Edition in 2016. It was also famous for underestimating requests. It’s easy to see the reason. The cute console creates instant nostalgia for big gamers with their own designs, but what’s inside is just as important. Inside the small plastic wall of the console there are 30 pre-loaded games, spanning several genres and acting as the greatest hits of all generations of consoles (see full list below). It also sets people’s expectations about what a mini retro console should have. A charming interface, affordable prices, and a decent list of games make the NES Classic the first mini console to really finish it.
Unfortunately, everyone will have a valued game not on the list, but favorites like Excitebike, lots of Zeldas, Ninja Gaiden, and of course some Mario games should make everyone happy. Luckily the days hit F5 with the hope of taking it online is over, but Nintendo won’t work forever. Finally, a new (much bigger) inventory will run out, and that will be the end. In addition, the only real disadvantage of the micro console is the very short 2.5-foot cable. Fortunately, there are third party options such as the 8Bitdo N30 Wireless Gamepad or two cable extender packages that fix it.
Full list of NES Classic Edition games: Ballon Fight, Bubble Bobble, Castlevania, Castlevania II: Search for Simon, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Naga Ganda II: Revenge, Dr. Mario, Excitebike, Final Fantasy, Galaga, Ghosts’ n Goblin, Gradius, Ice Climber, Kid Icarus, Kirby Adventure, Mario Bros., Mega Man 2, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Pac-Man, Punch Out, StarTropics, Super Contra, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros 3, Tecmo Bowl, Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Super NES Classic Edition
Like the previous NES Classic Edition, Nintendo made chords with the SNES Classic Edition. Except, somehow, the company managed to create a miniature version that was more cute than vintage hardware with follow-up. Smart choice of games including the previously released Fox Star sequel is the main attraction, including many local multiplayer games (see below for a full list).
If the NES Classic sets the stage for a good mini retro console, the Classic SNES perfects it. With 2 controllers packed in the box, a game that has never been released to see official releases approved on Star Fox 2, and an interface that is even more attractive than its predecessor, the Classic SNES sets a high watermark for the mini retro console.
The Classic SNES is also a good way to surprise yourself how well the Super Metroid intro can last up to 24 years later. The same applies to the Legend of Zelda: Links to the Past too. Fortunately, Nintendo learned the lesson with the NES Classic and more than a year later, you can still buy one of the newly-created HDMI-based micro consoles from Amazon. And like its predecessor, a wireless controller is also available to fix the Classic controller cable that is still too short.
Full list of Super NES Classic Edition games: Contra III: The Alien Wars, Donkey Kong Country, Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Course, Secret Mana, Street Fighter II Turbo: Great Fight, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, Super Mario World, Final Fantasy III, Super Castlevania IV, EarthBound, F-ZERO, Mega Man X, Star Fox, Star Fox 2, Super Ghouls’ n Ghosts, Super Mario RPG: Seven Star Legend, Super Metroid, Super Punch-Out !!, The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, Yoshi Island.
NEOGEO Mini International
NEO GEO is an arcade experience that you can bring to your home via a home console. However, unlike other consoles of its time, there is no effective difference between the NEO GEO that you have in the very luxurious living room of the 1990s and those in the local arcade. It was an expensive console, listing for $ 799 even then, but it was an ultimate home arcade experience for a long time.
There are many great NEO GEO games that live on this mini console, and can be played alone or plugged into a TV without HDMI. It’s not so lovingly put together as a Nintendo mini console, and a lot of interest from the NEO GEO throwback device is how to bring the system into an affordable package.
The NEO GEO Mini version is equipped with 40 classics included (see full list below), but remains true to its source by being the most expensive console among its peers. It has HDMI out, and comes in a small mini arcade cabinet, if you want to stay true to its roots, but in mini form.
NEOGEO Mini International complete game list: 3 Count Bout, Art of Fighting, Bright Stars, Blue Journey, Crossed Sword, Special Fatal Fury, Foot Ball Frenzy, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Ghost Pilots, King of the Monsters, King of the Monsters Monster 2, Kizuna, Meeting: Super Tag Fighting, Final Battle, God Witch, Metal Slug, Metal Slug 2, Metal Slug 3, Metal Slug 4, Metal Slug 5, Metal Slug X, Mutation Nation, Mutation Nation, Ninja Master: Haou Ninpou Chou, Confused, Real Fighting: Fatal Fury, Robo Army, Samurai Shodown II, Samurai Shodown IV: Amakusa Revenge, Samurai Shodown V Special, Sengoku 3, Shock Force, Shock Force: 2nd Troop, Super Sidekicks, King of Fighters’ 95, The King of Fighters ’97, The King of Fighters ’98, The King of Fighters 2000, The King of Fighters 2002, The Blade 2 Last, Golf Top Players, Perfect World Heroes.
The C64 is a revolutionary home computing device, bringing low-cost multi-functional PCs to homes around the world. Most people look back and remember not to be an introduction to BASIC programming, or arrange your recipes, but for many of the games. C64 Mini comes with 64 default games (see the full game list below), and although the old monitor is good for the time, these games look much cooler with an HDMI connection. What might be the coolest feature is its ability to use a modern USB keyboard.
Autoplay settings: On
This is a far more niche than the other mini consoles, despite C64’s worldwide success. Not many people want to visit the Challenge Chip, even compared to something like Kid Icarus. Still, this is a neat little machine and a great way to play games that you might rather remember, in addition to all the old C64 favorites included.
You can pick up the keyboard from your PC now, plug it in, and play the BASIC game or program as it should. Or you can use the controller included in the box, it’s entirely up to you.
Full list of C64 Mini games: AlleyKat, Anarchy, The Arc Of Yesod, Armalyte: Competition Edition, Avenger, Battle Valley, Bounders, California Games, Chip Challenges, Confuzion, Summer Games II, Spindizzy, Slayer, Star Claw, Super Cycle, Cosmic The Causeway: Trailblazer II, Creatures, Cyberdyne Warrior, Cybernoid II: The Revenge, Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine, Deflector, Everyone’s a Wally. Firelord, Gribbly Day, Hawkeye, Baseball Street Sports, Speedball, Apshai Temple, Trilogy, Reflecting Things, Things in Spring, Heartland, Herobotix, Highway Meetings, Hunter’s Moon, Hysteria, Impossible Missions, Impossible Mission II , Insects in Space, Zynaps, Mega-Apocalypse, Stormlord, Speedball II: Brutal Deluxe, Trailblazer, Uchi Mata, Uridium, Mission AD, Monty Mole, Monty in Runaway, Nebulus, Netherworld, Nobby Aardvark, Nodes Of Yesod, Paradroid, Pitstop II, Rana Rama, Baja, Snare, Who Dares to Win II, Winter Games, World Games, Robin from Wood, Rubicon, Crazy Skate, Skool Daze
Sega Genesis Classic Game Console
Not to be outdone, Sega has licensed its own retro mini-console, boasting more packaged games than the two Nintendo offers combined with 80 defeated titles. Sega Genesis Classic also has a pair of wired controllers in the box, and even uses the original controller port if you want to use your own six-button controller. Unfortunately, unlike the Nintendo offer, it does not have an HDMI connection.
Emulation does not meet other console standards. This is a licensed equipment, not something Sega built at home. If you want to revive your favorite Genesis class, you better use Sega Genesis Classics on your modern console (and even that has some competition issues).
This game list is quite complete. Eternal Champions and the Mortal Kombat trilogy must make the game fans fight, while Comix Zone, Sonic, Balls and Beast Beast selection rafts are available to a single player crowd. Doesn’t it tickle your liking too? Don’t worry: You can play original Genesis cartridges with a micro console too. See the full list of games here.
Yes, this is how it is: PlayStation Classic. It is impossible to deny the extraordinary impact that the original PlayStation has on the video game industry. The story behind the console is filled with intrigue and betrayal, and some of the most popular and famous franchises of all time began their careers or found a foothold in Sony’s first console.
That is why it is a pity that respect in the game’s historical period is so imperfect. Sony refrained from releasing a complete list of games, and with good reason: many of them were paralyzed. There are some treasures here, but even still, many suffer from the strange decision not to include analog controllers. Bad emulation and some games use ROM based on the PAL version, so it doesn’t run on the right framerate.
Consider this only if you are a diehard mini console collector. If not, you better buy a used PS3 and get the game through the official PlayStation Store.
List of Playstation Classic games: Battle Arena Toshinden, Cool Boarders 2, Destruction Derby, Final Fantasy VII, Grand Theft Auto, Intelligent Qube, Jumping Flash, Metal Gear Solid, Mr. Driller, Oddworld: Abe Oddysee, Rayman, Resident Evil Director’s Cut, Revelations : Persona, Ridge Racer Type 4, Turbo Super Puzzle Fighter II, Filter Siphon, Tekken 3, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Twisted Metal, Wild Arms
Timothy J. Seppala is a freelance reporter based in Detroit that has stuffed 5.1 surround systems into each of his residences, regardless of the size of the bedroom. The first console was NES PowerPad Bundle which was then destroyed by cat pee. He still misses him.
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